All students of medicine, dentistry and pharmacology in Iran must take courses in Islamic or traditional medicine, the health ministry has announced, despite concerns about potential harm to people's health.
This decision comes as the outbreak of COVID-19 caused more concerns in Iran about untrained people advocating traditional medicine.
Clerics or religious doctors in recent months have stepped forward claiming that various traditional or Muslim medications can protect the body against the coronavirus.
In April, a man claiming to be an Islamic medicine man drank camel urine in front of cameras to send a message that it provides protection against the deadly virus.
Another “Islamic doctor” advised people to insert a cotton ball dipped in violet oil in the anus at night to protect against coronavirus. Others prescribed less outrageous remedies such as dropping bitter watermelon (Citrullus colocynthis) oil in ears and nose.
In January another Islamic medicine man caused public outrage by burning a copy of Harrison's Manual of Medicine which is widely taught in Iranian medical universities and claiming that "Islamic medicine" has made such book irrelevant.
Iranian doctors have often complained about advocates of traditional medicine who interfere in the treatment of patients and often bring more harm to people in need of a consistent scientific medical approach.